"Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will" - Suzy Kassem.
That is why I experiment with my fears often and love to try to test my limits, push the boundaries of my fears, and get comfortable with them; Because deep down I know that I will never truely get rid of my fear, but I can try to master them and use them in my favour instead of letting them limit me.
Here is a short story on how I tackle this. Let me know what you think and how you go about this?
STEP 1 - ACKNOWLEDGING FEARS.
For as long as I can remember, I have been suffering from an irrational fear of height (I would sometime get vertigo from my high heels - no I wasn’t drunk!)
Fears are here for a reason - to help you survive - thanks a lot 2000 yo reptilian brain!
I am not a daredevil by nature - but I can’t stand to be limited to live the fullest experience in life because of fears that might not serve me - of course rationally assessing real danger vs irrational fear is key but in my case - this fear is mostly limiting me.
And it is very hard to break down this internal wiring but I am trying to push myself to try things that are fearful to me get a certain level of comfort or familiarity with height and push the boundaries of the fear a bit further.
So I do acro yoga, try climbing, learn Silks and high tricks to get to know my fear and it’s boundaries and how I can little by little increase them.
This isn’t limited to the fear of heights, by the way, I had the same approach with public speaking, and other fears that I cannot share on here but you get the idea - this methods works for me.. but you never know when the fear will creep back in! And right there... at the top of that cliff.. doing very basic movements.. It sure creeped in!
That feeling of being shaky.. short of breath.. almost paralysed.
So I asked my base, with a tiny voice.. « Should we move a little closer? »
STEP 2 - PRESENCE.
What is the tool you use to conquer your fears?
We decided to move “a little” closer to the edge of the cliff... for me this is much much closer.. like way too close!
I love being upside-down so thought this “angel pose” would be better...
But it wasn’t! I couldn’t even see the edge of the cliff anymore... Scary! All I could see from this point was the emptiness and the immensity of the ocean... This is where you can actually feel time stretching out... have you felt that before? Everything slows down.
Mike (The base) was talking to me but my brain wasn’t really listening... This is that fight or flight state we know... The auto pilot; the opposite of presence. It is funny how an easy pose that you are used to do time and time again without issues can become so challenging when you change one little parameter. And it is ALL in my head! Because there was no real danger there at all, just my brain giving me crazy signals as if a lion was chasing me down... Thanks brain!
So the only thing you can do here is to breath, just freakin’ BREATH! Ahah.
Focusing on that breathing really helps me be truely present, quiet down that brain chatter and really be face to face with my fear but also being truely there in that beautiful moment too. Because every moment is a fresh new moment.
Scientifically speaking, exercising the right type of calming breathing will help you get out of the left brain where we have those patterns and beliefs that everything is going to be like the past - like the fear of being hurt, (I fell from a high table when I was a just a toddler and this might be why I have this fear now... Could it be something that simple?Who knows!). But by being in the body and practicing this presence through breathing, you go out of that left brain state of fear of the past an hopefully moving into that present moment where everything is possible.
STEP 3 : SURRENDER.
When is the last time you experienced Surrender?
Here is one of the videos from that day so you can maybe grasp a bit of the sensations I felt. Of course you can’t feel that strong sea breeze that I felt on my skin, but you can hear the sound of the crashing waves against the rocks.
As you can see.. I’m super shaky trying to get in that very easy pose that was never a challenge for me... But put fear in the mix and look at how hesitant i am.. not trusting myself, you can see my sense are all over the place.
Once you get in that space of right brain / present moment... Yourself vs your fear, the last thing you can do is surrendering to that moment. Truely embracing the moment, acknowledging your fear, and dissociating from it.
By being in the moment, and surrendering to that moment, is the only way you can appreciate that moment for what it really is, and in that moment... The only thing I could do was appreciate the power of nature and yield to it.
Hoping this can help some of you if you can relate to that feeling of sometime feeling held back by your fears.
What is your experience with fear and how are you learning to embrace and conquer them?
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